Reflecting on her award, Louise said: “I very much appreciate the recognition this award brings, but there is so much more I still want to achieve. It is a real privilege to be able to use my skills in helping ambitious smaller companies, especially those set up by women.”
For several years Louise helped to promote the work of organisations such as PROWESS and Women in Rural Enterprise (WiRE), and campaigned for the Brown Government to establish a Women’s Enterprise Task Force. Since 2008 her public relations work has focussed on the growing impact of the UK life sciences, Med-Tech and innovation sectors, in particular the role of specialist business incubators for early-stage companies.
Louise applies her public relations and public affairs work in a voluntary capacity where her passion lies in tacking poverty both in the UK and in Africa. She raises awareness of the need for local Food Banks in Nottingham and for the work of Emmanuel House, the Nottingham day centre for homeless and vulnerable adults. But it is her work in Africa with the Teso Development Trust (TDT) which excites and inspires her most.
“I’ve just returned from the remote Teso region of north east Uganda where women’s cooperatives are having an enormous impact on meagre family incomes and the local economy. In many African communities, women are the main income-providers as well as carers, so understanding their needs and how we can support them is crucial. Several groups have set up Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs), much like our Credit Unions. They have started to make loans for business start-ups as well as school and healthcare fees. This simple but well-organised process is one way out of poverty.”
To support the TDT work with women’s cooperatives in the Teso Region of Uganda, go to the Just Giving section at www.teso.org.uk.
Louise Third, director, Integra Communications